Gadget Finder

Monday, November 30, 2009

Landscape Photography Guide Book

After getting FOGGED UP by the weather today and not getting any landscape shots done. I came back down to KL City and got a Landscape Photography guide book. Since I can't shoot landscapes today, I might as well read about it. Hehehe. Turns out, it's a pretty nice book. It's a magazine format actually. It's printed by the same people who do the magazine called Digital SLR Photography. I thought I'd share some of the contents with you guys.

Nice eh? It's a nice fat magazine with 143 pages of great info. Those of you who are into Landscape Photography, GO GO GO get it at the local bookshops now. It's only rm19.90.

I've been FOGGED!!!!!!!!!!!!

Arghhhhhhhhhhhh!!!! I made a trip up to Genting Highlands today to do some landscape photography. All I got was fog! It was totally fogged up. I've been FOGGED UP!!!! LOL. I was hoping it would clear up at night so I could at least get some nice night shots of KL City from up there. Guess what? This is what I got at night.

The fog was as thick as soup! :(

Sunday, November 29, 2009

LYN Photographers gathering

Just came home from another great session with the guys from photography section. Canon, Nikon and Sony gangsters were in attendance. Unfortunately Nikon gal couldn't make it and Pentax boy didn't come. LOL. Finally managed to get a Sony guy to come out. I used to be the only Sony guy at these gatherings. We finally have another Sony guy sporting enough to chill with us. Thumbs up to you William.

Here's a group photo...........................................................
of the hardware. Hehe

That's like rm70,000 worth of hardware right there maaaaaaaaan. If a few more of the regulars had turned up, it would have easily exceeded rm100,000!!!!!!!! LYN members are some really loaded buggers eh?

Added on December 1st: Someone ABUSED my 5D MkII!!!!!!!! I don't know which crazy fella took these shots with my 5D MkII last night but he sure abused it big time and showed it who's the daddy. He whipped my camera upside down at ISO 6400. LOL. All these pictures were shot at ISO6400!!!!! You god damn ISO Abuser! Whoever you are, I'm gonna get you next time. LOL

lwliam & Mrs.



Some1's friend(please update me on his name if any1 here knows).



Thursday, November 26, 2009

iPhone external battery pack

Here's a gadget I bought recently that's a real life saver. It's an external battery pack for the iPhone and it's called the FastMac TruePower IV. As we all know, the iPhone battery leaves a lot to be desired. Continuous usage of Safari will kill the battery in about 2-3 hours tops. I was always charging it in the car via a car charger whenever I had the chance, or the iPhone would just die on me. When I saw this gizmo, I didn't have to think twice, I grabbed it immediately and said "hallelujah!" It's a lil pricey at rm239 but it's a very small price to pay when I get to stay online all day long. Let's get on with the pictures.

Here's how the packaging looks like.

Here's how the TruePower looks like. The black color is kinda like a rubbery type of paint. It's got a soft, grippy feel to it.

The 2 holes at the bottom magnifies the sound from the speaker and also allows sound to go into the mic.

There's a USB port on the back. You can use it to charge all types of portable devices even while charging the iPhone.

Here's how it looks like with the iPhone in it. Take note of how the bottom part looks smaller. That allows the TruePower to sit in the original iPhone Dock. Very useful bit of design there.

There's a notch at the top where the camera is so it doesn't affect the camera usage.

Here's a really useful feature. It's a very high power LED which can be used as a camera flash or flashlight. Just flick the switch located on the side and it turns on the LED.

There are 2 buttons on the back. The button with the lightning bolt is used to check on the remaining power in the TruePower. 4 green LEDs show full power, 1 green LED shows it's time for a recharge. The power button on the right is used to turn the TruePower on or off. You can leave the iPhone in it and just switch off the TruePower with this switch so it doesn't recharge the iPhone.

This TruePower battery pack is a really nice gadget to have. I use it almost everyday as I'm a heavy user of the iPhone. I'm online all day long and can't live without the internet. LOL. TruePower's capacity is pretty good. Based on a completely flat iPhone, it can charge it up to 100% and then if you run it flat again, it will charge the iPhone up to about 50% before going flat itself. So that's 1.5 charges right there. TruePower charges the iPhone on quick charge mode in about 1 hour. Quick charge takes the iPhone up to about 90%. Then it takes about another hour for the last 10%. Once the TruePower goes flat, it takes about 6 hours to recharge. So make sure you top up the TruePower at night or you'll be caught with a flat TruePower in the day.

It's very big and bulky but that's a small price to pay considering the amount of power it packs. I keep it in the car glove box at all times so it goes wherever I go. I hardly get stuck with a flat iPhone after getting the TruePower. Another unusual thing about it is that it's made in the USA! How often do you see stuff that's still "Made in the USA" now eh? It truy is an awesome product. I highly recommend this product to all iPhone users.

Added on 29 December 2009.: I just got myself an iPhone 3Gs and I'm happy to report that the Truepower pack works with the 3Gs too.

If you liked this article or found it helpful, please check out the advertisements ya? You can also buy the product from Amazon through the links below. Your support is much appreciated. :) :) :)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Canon vs Sigma 70-200 f2.8

Since I have both of these lenses. I decided to do a shootout to see the difference in image quality. Here's how the lenses look like standing next to each other. I've also included a Canon 17-40L, 24-105L, 50mm f1.8 and a Sigma 50mm f1.4 in the picture to show the relative scale of the lenses.

I tested them by putting my Canon 5D MkII on a tripod and shooting at 70mm, 135mm and 200mm at f2.8. Image Stabilisation on the Canon lens was switched off. Here are the results. All pictures are straight out jpg with no editing at all. I just cropped off all the white space around the pictures at 70 and 135mm.

Canon at 70mm f2.8

Sigma 70mm f2.8

Not much difference between them at 70mm eh? Let's move on to 135mm.

Canon at 135mm f2.8

Sigma at 135mm f2.8

The difference is starting to show at 135mm so I cropped right in to the center for a closer look.

Canon at 135mm

Sigma at 135mm

Let's take a look at 200mm f2.8 now.

Canon at 200mm f2.8

Sigma at 200mm f2.8

Center crops to show the massive difference in IQ.

Canon at 200mm f2.8

Sigma at 200mm f2.8

It's a a huge difference in image quality as can be seen in the comparison pictures above. I now know why Canon charges us an arm and a leg and maybe even a liver too. LOL. I guess the Canon lens is well worth the extra money though. So if you have the money, don't waste time thinking about getting the Sigma 70-200 f2.8. Just go ahead and get the Canon 70-200 f2.8L IS.

If you liked this article or found it helpful, please check out the advertisements ya? You can also buy the product from Amazon through the links below. Your support is much appreciated. :) :) :)

Monday, November 23, 2009

EOS 5D MkII weather proof?

Here's some proof for those who believe that silly Antartica article somewhere on the internet. The way that guy said it, was like the 5D MkII would fail at the slightest hint of water.

I've read an article somewhere that Canon specifies the weather proofing to be rated at 1cm of rain in 3 minutes. That's a whole lot of rain in 3 minutes. Anyway, I recently tried it out myself and am totally confident in the 5D MkII's weather proofing now.

I was on holiday in Penang Island recently. That's a tropical island and when it rains, it really pours down by the bucket loads. I was there for a week and it rained every single night. I took my 5D MkII out anyway and continued using it in the pouring rain without a care. It survived a week of tropical rainstorms.

Here's some pictures I took of my camera getting soaked. Sorry for the bad quality, these pics were taken after a walk in the rain. I sat down to have dinner at the food court and took these pics with my iPhone.

I've since taken the 5D MkII out on a few more rainy adventures and have had no problems at all. In fact, I went out for a sunrise shoot by the sea this morning. It was pouring down and I kept clicking away. Hehehe. So........... all you 5D MkII owners, stop hiding when the weather gets bad. Take your camera out and have fun!

Added on 17th January 2010- I just attended a Canon event a few days back and the Canon representative was talking about the weather resistance of the EOS 1D MkIV. He said it was rated to withstand 1cm of rain in 3 minutes. That is a JIS(Japan Industrial Standards) approved test. The 5D MkII is also rated to withstand 1cm of rain in 3 minutes. So now we know for sure that the 5D MkII is built to the same weather resistance standard as the EOS 1 series. Anyone heard or read about whether the new 7D is also rated to withstand 1cm of rain in 3 minutes?

Media Recover software

pHWOARRRRRRRRRRRRRRR! Kingston Ultimate 266X CF card rocks I tell you. It's my favorite CF card and it's even saving my skin right now. Mine came with a thingy called Media Recover. I've never had to use it until now and it's recovered 781 pics from my formatted SD card. Thank You Kingston.

Those pics were backed up to my HP Mini notebook while I was in Penang last week. I then formatted the card so I could use a fresh SD card while in Penang. I then had problems uploading pics to the HP Mini. On the very next day, it wouldn't even boot up. All 781 pics GONE!!!!!!! I tried to recover my pics from the HP Mini HDD by connecting it to my desktop PC but it wouldn't even show up in "My Computer". I was getting desperate as I really wanted those pics back. Luckily I remembered that my Kingston Ultimate CF card came with that fantastic software. Some of the recovered pics are corrupt but most of it is intact and it's much better than losing all of them forever.

Anyway, here's how the software looks like when you open it up.

Just follow the provided instructions and you should see this at the end of the recovery scan.

You can then browse the recovered files and decide which files to save.

Thank God I had this Media Recover thingy. It really saved my skin. I had a lot of important pictures in there for articles which I have yet to write about in this blog. I can now continue writing those articles with the proper pics. Hehe. Hopefully this article will help some of you guys in the same predicament as me.
Big thumbs up to Kingston for including this software with the Ultimate CF cards.

If you liked this article or found it helpful, please check out the advertisements ya? You can also buy the product from Amazon through the links below. Your support is much appreciated. :) :) :)